Washington is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Its early settlers were small farmers who constantly encroached upon the Indian lands of the region. These settlers were mostly English, but there were also those of Scotch, Irish, and German extraction. The present county was originally under the authority of Lord Fairfax. Rappahannock was designated a distinct county in 1833 and took its name from the river that has its source in nearby mountain springs. Today, the county retains its rustic charm, hosting 5 wineries, 16 orchards/nurseries, and over a dozen commercial farms.